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Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 December 12, 1946
Stars:
Goofy
Rating: 
★★★★

Double Dribble © Walt DisneyIn ‘Double Dribble’ we’re watching a basketball game between home team U.U. and visiting team P.U. (which has only one fan).

‘Double Dribble’ is Jack Hannah’s second Goofy cartoon, and it uses the same format as his first, ‘A Knight for a Day‘ (1946) with equally fast and funny results. There’s a sports game with a lively narrator, typical for the Goofy shorts of the forties, but there’s also one underdog-like character, whom we can follow throughout the picture, and to whom we can relate. In ‘A Knight for a Day’ it was Cedric, this time it’s a tiny Goofy, called Marathu, who makes the final and deciding score, turning the game in favor of ‘old P.U.’.

Like in ‘Hockey Homicide‘ (1945) the team members share names with Disney employees.

Watch ‘Double Dribble’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 19
To the previous Goofy cartoon: A Knight for a Day
To the next Goofy cartoon: Foul Hunting

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
 March 8, 1946
Stars:
 
Goofy
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

A Knight For A Day © Walt Disney‘A Knight for a Day’ is one of four Goofy cartoons directed by Jack Hannah, while Goofy’s usual director, Jack Kinney, was busy working on feature films ‘Make Mine Music’ and ‘Fun and Fancy Free‘.

Hannah, who shares Kinney’s love for fast and nonsensical cartoons, adopts the use of a jabbering sports reporter-like voice over, but applies it to a medieval setting, with hilarious results. Unlike Kinney’s Goofy cartoons however, Hannah’s cartoon consists of a real story with identifiable characters, splitting Goofy’s personality into various different ones.

During a medieval tournament, Cedric, a young squire, has to replace his master, Sir Loinsteak, when he falls with his head on an anvil, blocking him out. He has to face the champion, Sir Cumference, an evil opponent, who rides a black horse, smokes cigars and has a shield of bricks. Cedric wins the tournament, however, earning kisses from the ‘beautiful’ princess Esmeralda, who is another Goofy-like character.

‘A Knight for a Day’ is a fast and fervid cartoon, which is over before you know it.

Watch ‘A Knight for a Day’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 18
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Hockey Homicide
To the next Goofy cartoon: Double Dribble

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date:
 September 21, 1945
Stars:
 Goofy
Rating:
 ★★★★★ ♕
Review:

Hockey Homicide © Walt Disney‘Hockey Homicide’ is an account of a frantic ice hockey game between two teams, of which all players share names with Disney employees (while the referee is named after the cartoon’s director, Jack Kinney).

The cartoon is bursting with cartoon violence. For instance, there’s a hilarious running gag of two star players, Bertino and Ferguson, who, when they leave the penalty box, immediately start beating up each other, only to be send back into the penalty box again.

But the real treat of this fast and furious cartoon is its final sequence, when the crowd takes over and the cartoon runs totally haywire, even using non-related footage from ‘How to Play Football’ (1944), ‘How to Play Baseball‘ (1942), ‘Victory Through Air Power’ (1943) and Monstro the Whale from ‘Pinocchio‘ (1940), to add to the feeling of complete chaos.

‘Hockey Homicide’ must be the wildest, fastest and most violent cartoon Disney ever produced. Like earlier Goofy cartoons by Jack Kinney, it is clearly influenced by contemporary cartoons at Warner Bros. and MGM, and it has a genuine Tex Averyan spirit rarely seen at Dosmey outside the Goofy series.

With ‘Hockey Homicide’ the Goofy series reached its apex. More entertaining films were to follow, but none as wild and extreme as this one. After it Kinney was fully involved in feature films, only to return to the Goofy series again in 1949. By then the humor of Hollywood cartoons had toned down. In the meantime five Goofy cartoons were produced: four directed by Donald Duck-director Jack Hannah, and one by Clyde Geronimi.

Watch ‘Hockey Homicide’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 17
To the previous Goofy cartoon: Californy’er Bust
To the next Goofy cartoon: A Knight for a Day

Director: Jack Hannah
Release Date:
November 1, 1946
Stars: 
Donald Duck, Goofy
Rating:
 ★★½
Review:

Frank Duck Brings 'Em Back Alive © Walt Disney‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is the fourth of five cartoons starring both Donald and Goofy. The coupling never was really successful, and ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ is no exception. 

In this short Goofy is staged as some Tarzan-like wild man wearing sneakers. Donald Duck is himself as hunter ‘Frank Duck’, trying to capture the wild man. Their endless chase ends when they encounter a lion. The wild man escapes with Donald’s boat, leaving Donald leaping from tree to tree, followed by the lion. Iris out.

The comedy of ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ does not work well, because Goofy is not really himself here. Maybe director Jack Hannah was inspired by the anonymous Goofies that crowded the Goofy films of the era, including some he directed himself. In any case, when the anonymous Goofy suddenly is reduced to one, something apparently goes wrong. Then we probably expect to watch the real Goofy again, something which does not happen in this cartoon. Instead, we watch a Goofy acting silly, but also outsmarting his hunter, just like Daffy Duck does at Warner Brothers. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s so out of character, it ruins the comedy.

‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ contains a very late occasion of Donald’s typical dance of anger, made famous by animator Dick Lundy in Donald’s second screen appearance, ‘Orphan’s Benefit‘ (1934). Donald showed this behavior often in his early career, but it had become rare by the 1940s.

Watch ‘Frank Duck Brings ‘Em Back Alive’ yourself and tell me what you think:

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: July 30, 1943
Stars: Goofy, Pluto (cameo)
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

Victory Vehicles © Walt Disney‘Victory Vehicles’ is the only entirely war-themed Goofy short (although the end of ‘How to be a Sailor’ (1944) refers to the war, too). It’s no army cartoon, however. Instead, the cartoon parodies propagandistic shorts of the time, using a patriotic voice over and dealing with the (real) problem of rubber shortage.

‘Victory Vehicles’ introduces various silly inventions that should replace the car as a form of transportation. The solution finally settles on the pogo-stick: “the answer to a nation’s needs”.

‘Victory Vehicles’ is a very enjoyable cartoon in its silly satire. It’s also a nice window to the shortage problems of World War II America. The film contains a very catchy theme song called ‘Hop on your Pogo Stick’, and a short cameo by Pluto.

‘Victory Vehicles’ is an important landmark in the Goofy series, because it marks Goofy’s graduation from single character to the prototypical everyman. In this short various types of Goofies can be seen, including women and children. They are provided with different voice overs, emphasizing that every Goofy we see is a different one.

Of all evolutions of a cartoon star, this is the most remarkable one. The thirties Goof, with his all too recognizable character traits has been transformed into an everyman who could be anybody, and, at the same time, still be Goofy.

Other directors would return to the original Goofy in cartoons like ‘Foul Hunting‘ (Jack Hannah, 1947) and ‘The Big Wash‘ (Clyde Geronimi, 1948), but Jack Kinney would stick to the everyman Goofy, making the most hilarious cartoons with this character.

This is Goofy cartoon No. 10
To the previous Goofy cartoon: How to Fish
To the next Goofy cartoon: How to be a Sailor

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: December 4, 1942
Stars: Goofy
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

How to Fish © Walt Disney

‘How to fish’ kicks off nonsensically when the narrator explains how astrology gives ‘man’ (Goofy) an urge to fish.

The cartoon consists of blackout gags involving various types of fishing, like angling and lake fishing. In the end Goofy manages to capture one fish, which turns out to be his own outboard motor.

‘How to Fish’ is one of Goofy’s less inspired sports cartoons, even though it’s pretty enjoyable. It is the first Goofy short to use oil background paintings. It contains one discontinuity incident: when he fishes himself into a tree, he shortly wears his socks again.

Watch ‘How To Fish’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 9
To the previous Goofy cartoon: How to Swim
To the next Goofy cartoon: Victory Vehicles

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: October 23, 1942
Stars: Goofy
Rating: ★★★★★
Review:

How To Swim © Walt Disney

With ‘How To Swim’ director Jack Kinney really hit his stride. The film perfectly blends educational information with total nonsense.

The result is one of the best of Goofy’s ‘how to’ shorts, ‘How to swim’ starts off hilariously, when Goofy practices various strokes on a piano stool, unknowingly crossing the street while doing so. Other gags involve Goofy trying to change in a remarkably small beach locker and his attempts to bath in the surf.

The best part, however, is the diving sequence. Here, a great story device is introduced: the chart-like figure, borrowed from the educational shorts Disney made for the war effort at that time. The diving sequence also features the use of the ‘slow motion camera’, which was introduced in the ‘How to ride a horse’ sequence within ‘The reluctant Dragon‘ (1941). The combination of the slow motion camera’s ridiculously elaborate animation and the perfection of the chart figure is deadly funny.

It’s characteristic for the high quality standards at the Disney Studio that even regular gag cartoons contain beautiful and convincing effect animation, like the tidal waves in ‘How to Swim’.

Watch ‘How To Swim’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 8
To the previous Goofy cartoon: The Olympic Champ
To the next Goofy cartoon: How to Fish

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: October 9, 1942
Stars: Goofy
Rating: ★★★½
Review:

The Olympic Champ © Walt Disney‘The Olympic Champ’ is Goofy’s fourth sports cartoon. Here, Goofy demonstrates the athletic sports of the Olympics: running, hurdles, pole vault jumping, hammer drawing and the decathlon.

Goofy has particular problems with the narrator in this short: he’s almost burned by the eternal flame while the narrator pompously chatters away, and he has to try to balance on a pole, while the narrator is reciting a poem.

‘The Olympic Champ’ is not the best of Goofy’s sports cartoons, but it is enjoyable in its successful blend of blackout gags and great animation.

Watch ‘The Olympic Champ’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 7
To the previous Goofy cartoon: How to Play Baseball
To the next Goofy cartoon: How to Swim

Director: Jack Kinney
Release Date: September 4, 1942
Stars: Goofy
Rating:  ★★★
Review:

How to Play Baseball © Walt Disney‘How to Play Baseball’ is the third of Goofy’s sport cartoons, and the first with a title beginning with ‘How to’ (following the ‘How to Ride a Horse’ sequence in ‘The Reluctant Dragon‘ (1941).

The short forms the next and final step in Goofy’s evolution after the duplication of Goofies in the previous cartoon, ‘The Art of Self Defense‘: now multiple Goofies are together the stars of the cartoon. The character remains unique in the cartoon canon in this ability to duplicate himself and remain Goofy throughout, nonetheless.

The short has a highly entertaining way to explain baseball, ending with an exciting finale of the World championship. The gags come fast and plenty, depicting a lot of nonsense. Nevertheless, the cartoon is not only funny, it’s also surprisingly educational.

In the years following ‘How to Play Baseball’ baseball would return to the animated screen in the Woody Woodpecker cartoon ‘The Screwball’ (1943) and in the Bugs Bunny cartoon ‘Baseball Bugs‘ (1944).

Watch ‘How To Play Baseball’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Goofy cartoon No. 6
To the previous Goofy cartoon: The Art of Self Defence
To the next Goofy cartoon: The Olympic Champ

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